The Altair 680b was developed after the original 8800. The Altair 8800 kit was introduced as the cover story on the January 1975 edition of Popular Electronics. Though 'home-brew' experimental systems exsisted well before the Altair, none had the Altair's wide-reaching popularity. Word length: 8 bits. CPU Circuitry: Intel 8080. Prymary Memory: 256 Bytes. Price: $ 397. The Altair inspired Bill Gates, then at Harvard University, to write a BASIC assembler so that users could easily program the machine. This was the start of Microsoft. MITS was sold to Pertec and the Altair line did not last long.